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Rockies rollover relief corps and tender all arbitration-eligible players; sign Colorado native as bullpen depth piece

Patrick Lyons Avatar
December 1, 2021

Tuesday marked the non-tender deadline and the Colorado Rockies were once again eager to bring back the 2021 roster in hopes of a brighter 2022 season.

Colorado avoided arbitration with RHP Daniel Bard, agreeing to a one-year contract worth $4.4 million. The 36-year-old was entering his final year of club control and the deal will keep him decked in purple for another year before he reaching free agency for the first time following the 2022 season. 

Bard was the closer for a calendar year between July 2020 and this past summer, saving a combined 26 games in his first big league action since 2013. He was projected to make approximately $4.8 million in his final trip through arbitration, according to MLB Trade Rumors. 

RHP Tyler Kinley also agreed to a one-year deal with the Rockies worth a reported $1.025 million. The 30-year-old reliever has been much more valuable to the organization over the last two seasons than his ERA (4.88) may suggest. MLBTR indicated his salary for this upcoming year as being $1.0 million in his first year of arbitration.

This time last year, OF David Dahl and C Tony Wolters were notable non-tenders. However, there were no such surprises this year for the Denver Nine. 

Colorado tendered contracts to all seven of its arbitration-eligible players (with projected salary courtesy of MLB Trade Rumors): first-timers IF/OF Garrett Hampson ($1.8MM) and RHP Peter Lambert ($0.6MM); second-timers IF Ryan McMahon ($5.5MM), OF Raimel Tapia ($3.9MM) and RHP Robert Stephenson ($1.1MM); and third-timers LHP Kyle Freeland ($7.0MM) and RHP Carlos Estévez ($3.2MM). 

Freeland and Lambert are both Super Two players who will have four years of arbitration.

Some notable names around MLB to be non-tendered that could be intriguing options for Colorado going forward: LHP Matthew Boyd, LHP Taylor Clarke, RHP Robert Gsellman, OF Tim Locastro, OF Billy McKinney, RHP Richard Rodríguez, LHP Matt Strahm and 1B Daniel Vogelbach. 

The Rockies were also active in adding depth for next season, picking up RHP J.D. Hammer on a minor league deal, according to MLB.com’s Thomas Harding.

Hammer was a 24th round pick in the 2016 MLB Draft by Colorado out of Marshall University. He was traded after a just a year with the organization on July 26, 2017 along with Jose Gómez and Alejandro Requena to the Philadelphia Phillies for RHP Pat Neshek. 

A Colorado native who attended Fossil Ridge High School and Fort Collins High School, Hammer joins Freeland, Lucas Gilbreath, Reagan Todd and Max George as a few in-state products within the ranks of the Rockies.

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